Review and photos by Donna Hourigan
An easy three and a half hour drive north of Brisbane brings you to the gates of Fraser Coast RV Park, the site of a new and exciting music calendar event, the ‘River Heads Rocks Festival’.
Think early Mitchell Creek Rock ’n’ Blues Fest, intimate, community driven, committed to supporting local artists and the discovery of new talent.
The festival first launched in 2021 with a lineup featuring EightBall Aitken, The Rolling Stones Experience and The Miz Bully Band. June this year saw Karise Eden (winner of ‘The Voice’) headline and my own band ‘The Turnaround’ take the stage, as well as local favourites ‘Mr Q’. Community artists provided items for a live auction which raised nearly $4,000 for ‘Community Flights’.
Arriving Friday night we were warmly welcomed and nothing was too much trouble for our hosts. A bonfire lent an authentic bush ambiance and our accommodation in the Gypsy Wagon was cosy, proof against the crisp winter night!
Saturday morning the fun kicked off with local band ‘Happy Dog’ trotting out their favourite R&B tunes, warming up the enthusiastic crowd. ‘The Turnaround’ with yours truly, then took to the authentic bush stage with our mix of original soul driven blues and we were thrilled with our reception! Mr Q kept the crowd on their feet with their classic rock anthems before ceding the stage to R&B outfit ‘Miz Bully Band’, return favourites from the previous year. Headline act, ‘Karise Eden & Band’, showed us just why she occupied the biggest selling Australian artists in 2012 and wrapped up a fantastic day of live music! For the ’stayers’, jamming with acoustic guitars around the bonfire extended the fun into the early hours.
Fraser Coast RV Park is a nature based boutique tourism venture boasting 4kms of walking trails in a 40 acre nature reserve. Husband and wife team Paul and Suzanne Taylor have created a unique atmosphere steeped in Australiana, with a bush kitchen, a luxury cabin, gypsy wagon and a rockin’ new bush stage! The amenities are clean and well spaced around the camp site. Accommodation also includes powered and unpowered sites. The park provides wheelchair access and is dog friendly. Like to make an extended stay? Local activities can include exploring the beaches of Hervey Bay and a trip to Fraser Island!
River Heads Rocks Festival Site
Mark July 22nd on your calendar for 2023’s River Heads Rocks Festival. Or better yet go to www.frasercoastrvpark.com.au
and book for a 2 night stay. 6 bands, plus a jam night around the campfire. I’ll be there with my band ‘The Turnaround’ performing as part of what will, hopefully, become a fixture on the Queensland festival calendar.
Editor’s note: Donna Hourigan and The Turnaround are a Brisbane based original blues band gigging regularly around Queensland.
Editor Post Script: just announced that Fraser Coast RV Park has been awarded a “Stamp Of Excellence” by Tourism and Events Queensland, recognising them as the “Best of Queensland Experience”.